London Road Fire Station is to be used as a temporary shelter for rough sleepers this winter.
Working in partnership with Nottingham City Council and British Red Cross, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has agreed that the station will be used as an emergency shelter for rough sleepers when temperatures fall below zero.
The aim is to provide somewhere to sit in warmth, with a blanket and hot drink as well as access to toilet facilities and dry clothes between 9pm and 7am. A pool of Red Cross volunteers is available to staff it overnight who will be put on notice to be available once the Met Office forecasts sub-zero temperatures.
It will also allow Framework, a charity and housing association dedicated to helping homeless people, and Community Protection Officers, to refer small numbers of people remaining on the streets – up to eight at a time - to a staffed centre.
South Group Manager, Damien West, said: “As a Service our goal is to create safer communities, and sometimes this goes further than things such as fire and road safety.
“We’re really pleased that, by working collaboratively with our partners at the City Council and British Red Cross, we’ve been able to offer up one of our sites to support some of the most vulnerable people in Nottingham.”
Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, Councillor Jane Urquhart, said: “We’ve responded to an increase in homelessness by funding services that ensure nobody need sleep on the street in Nottingham this winter, as well as committing to £35m of funding over the next nine years to continue our work on preventing homelessness.
“Using the fire station as an emergency shelter in extreme weather gives us one more option on top of all those measures already in place. It may prove helpful in cases where people are resistant to accepting support but who need to get out of the extreme cold for their own health and well-being.”